Vernon teacher Carolyn Wild has spent many years reading children’s books to her Kindergarten and Grade 1 students, and now, she has her own children’s series to read to them.
Wild has self-published a series of children’s books, having designed them herself using photos from her farm.
She’s off to a prolific start in her book-writing career, having published five books since deciding to become a children’s author in December 2022.
Wild says she had a creative streak when she was younger, but “put it off” after becoming a mother and starting her career as an early childhood educator in Toronto in the 1980s.
She was inspired by her son’s career path as a 3D animator to take a stab at doing something creative again, and writing children’s books fit the bill.
“I thought, if he can do it I should get back into it,” she said.
Wild’s books are suitable for kids aged four to seven, but she says younger kids have been enjoying the books as well. The books are considered non-fiction — rare in the children’s publishing world — on account of their science facts and real pictures as opposed to animation.
There’s a set of Wild’s books in her classroom at Mission Hill Elementary School, and Wild says the books have invigorated her students.
“It’s changed my teaching and how the kids are writing better and reading more in my class now. It’s like a big writing competition in the mornings now it seems. And I see it differently, I appreciate their illustrations more, I appreciate how much longer they might want to take to think about it.”
Wild says writing the books was a “hard learning curve,” but her husband Geoff is good with computers and helped her install and use design programs and “catch the mistakes I’m making.”
She says completing a book is an arduous process; it can take 30 to 40 revisions to get it right.
The first book in the series is titled I Like Ducks: All Year Long, and incorporates pictures of ducks growing up with the seasons. It was released on April 5.
Another title is Adam’s Big Horses’and is inspired by Wild’s neighbours, Horse Drawn Okanagan, who the Wilds have known well for 11 years.
Teaching kids to read has been a passion for Wild for decades, and in all her books, she includes guidelines for parents instructing them how to teach their kids to read at home.
Wild plans to keep publishing books. She’s currently working on a few to be released this summer, and as the lead director of the goat division for the Armstrong IPE she has no shortage of animal pictures to use.
The books can be purchased at Vernon Teach and Learn, Little Plum Children’s Boutique in Vernon and Country West feed store in Armstrong. They can also be found on Amazon in Kindle and paperback form by searching Wild Acres Farm Series.